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Comrade Kosciusko’s Tiny Guide to Brainwashing

Comrade Kosciusko’s Tiny Guide to Brainwashing

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Published by Bob
"I believe that weapons such as propaganda and immunity to it should be in possession of every person and not confined to government operators. Hopefully, this should arm logical, reasonable people and disarm the fanatics who simply play and replay scripts designed by others."

-Comrade Kosciusko
"I believe that weapons such as propaganda and immunity to it should be in possession of every person and not confined to government operators. Hopefully, this should arm logical, reasonable people and disarm the fanatics who simply play and replay scripts designed by others."

-Comrade Kosciusko

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Bob on Oct 11, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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Comrade Kosciusko’s tiny guide to brainwashing06/15/2002
(originally posted at libertyforum.org)
Historical and Personal Context
This is a topic that interested me for a while – I have had some interesting experiences in Poland (some of them as early as elementary school and high school)where a teacher or principal (old, experienced party apparatchik) through fairly short conversation would be able to swap my beliefs 180 degrees. After a while Iwould be quite shocked, and would wonder for weeks how could something like that be possible.This was not at all a unique experience. All throughout education process in ex-communist countries there were special classes of “defense training” which apartfrom teaching useful military and survival skills were also pumping official political-military dogmas. It started in elementary school and continued all the waythrough university.For me, the university part was most interesting. Technically in the Eastern Block every male became a soldier after turning 18 years of age. At that time everyonefaced a draft board and was issued a soldier’s ID. The assumption was the person was already a soldier since upon completing high school the military servicewould begin. Those who got accepted to a university (you had one shot at it) would be “transferred” to that university’s military school (every university had one)and begin their officer’s training there.The reason this was particularly interesting is that, unlike the high school, the guy doing the “political” training was an experienced military political propagandaofficer and that for me this happened when they had little chance of success since all of Poland was in the midst of a rebellion. So the whole “training” degraded toan emotional game of poker where the teacher’s job was to provoke a reaction by pumping most primitive dogmas supplemented with heavy shock therapy and thestudents’ job was to pretend that the training was working and never allowing true feelings be known – even through blinking of an eye. THIS was FUN!!! – I meanpoking ADL commissars is good too – but all they do is run short, boring canned scripts - nowhere as much fun as the real improvising, THINKING thing – as is thecase with pros trained in the Eastern Block.The experts among us would try the more advanced level – equivalent of playing “Russian Roulette”– making statements that sounded like insults that could be re-interpreted as greatest compliments. Examples of such things exist in the Slavic literature. For example in Sienkiewicz’s “Quo Vadis” everybody compliments Nerofor his “performance” and the character named Petronius says – “this was total garbage.” Everybody thinks - “bye, bye – Petronius.” But Petronius continues –“This would be great for an ORDINARY poet, but not you, divine Nero!!! You need more FIRE!!!” Nero is all happy and says “You are my best friend, Petronius –you are the only one who understands me.”One of the results of such state of affairs – every day practice and lots of training literature - was that large part of the population got a good training in art of propaganda and brainwashing.Upon arrival to US I was quite shocked to find out that all the simplest brainwashing tricks are utilized with great success – for example “it’s for the children” trick.It is one thing to watch idiots buy tons of crap they do not need thanks to clever brainwashing in advertising campaigns – it is entirely another to watch US peoplebe manipulated into doing things totally contrary to their interests.It is really sad state of affairs that the USA, through abandoning its non-interventionist policies, has become a primary propaganda battleground for all fanaticalgroups in the world. US used to be the place a person would run to in order to escape religious cults and political fanatics, where one could live in peace by simplysupporting himself and family.This is no more – US is now the place where combatants in potential conflicts begin their battle FIRST – the most important front where the wars are decidedthrough spin before bullets fly in remote parts of the globe. Note how Serbs who merely fought Muslim fanatics and drug dealers ended up bombed only becausethey thought the merits of their case was enough. They neglected the propaganda battle and paid a terrible price.For better or for worse – the US is now in “the Game” and it is important to know the tricks. The other bad news is that the US inherited some commissarpropaganda masters from the eastern block.Here is the problem – there is no black and white in propaganda, no good or bad, no verifiable facts that matter – only spin that lives its own life and often becomesmore important than reality. Even worse problem is that people with strongly defined beliefs make very poor propaganda operators and have very poor propagandaimmunity. For example, if you believe in greatness of American culture or Christianity – you have these puritan images in your mind – pretty girls dancing in ameadow. All a potential propaganda attacker has to do is to bring an image of a Clinton relative doing his daughter in his trailer – and he’s got you jumping throughwalls.To be honest the libertarians are the only group in the US that I have any respect for. I really dislike all fanatical crusaders and I rather despise the fact that Americahas made me into a crusader.Anyway – the reason I am bringing this topic is that I believe that weapons such as propaganda and immunity to it should be in possession of every person and notconfined to government operators. Hopefully, this should arm logical, reasonable people and disarm the fanatics who simply play and replay scripts designed byothers.I am looking forward to learning all what others know about the subject.Let the games begin.
Theoretical Base
Brainwashing is a technique that allows to program responses and behavior through bypassing of normal brain functions – like logic and reason.In great simplification, human brain consists of two parts:1. Associative data-base2. Processing unit that allows programming new data into the associative data-base
 
Look at the Part 1 as a giant collection of interconnected data, without any intelligence in it. For example – analyze your behavior in relation to following picture:
“Dog says: I have nothing against a Bush in the White-House.”
You should smile because your brain will retrieve two associations, second one being a dog having another plant (one more joke) to piss on in the White House.Now draw a dog with Ariel Sharon’s face and have him say that. The associations in your brain will pop and make you act upon whether you feel like it or not. Allour knowledge is stored in form of associations.Look at the Part 2 (processing unit) as the only mechanism preventing garbage from entering your data-base and the only part that has any logic or reasonfunctionality. All new experiences (data) encountered are judged against previous data and either allowed to pass to the data-base or be rejected. When everything isclean, only logical-non-conflicting information (or associations) checked out against previously stored knowledge can enter the data-base. Under certaincircumstances, however, faulty, corrupted information is programmed into the database and we have a big problem. Some of the “corruptions” can be manifestedthrough or even corrected through dreams (really a simulation of real feedback that allows your brain to fake information that passes through the processing unit). If the inconsistencies are severe, behavior in entire area of inconsistency can be suppressed and only very advanced training can allow facing/correcting such aproblem.What can cause your brain to let faulty information pass? The answer is very simple – anything that overwhelms your “processing unit.” Namely – all emotions(also known for the purpose of brainwashing as “buttons” to “push”). Everything that makes you happy, ecstatic, sad, angry, disgusted, irritated, tired, etc can beused to overwhelm the “processing unit” to the point where much less “processing power” is available for the filtering functions and things can enter your brain thatyou would never let there under “normal” circumstances.We all are constantly exposed to brainwashing of smaller or bigger level. Often brainwashing is done as a learnt, programmed trick without understanding theorybehind the process. Examine the tricks of car-salesmen, for example: As part of the “procedure” the salesman will enquire about your job, position, etc. Will thencompliment you with this or that, plugging “you are so rich” quietly somewhere in there while you are all happy about being so admired. Well, since you are so rich,it would not make sense for you to haggle over the sticker price or interest rate too much. You sign the papers like a “rich man,” take the new car home, have baddreams about the affair for a couple of days and then wonder for days how you could be so dumb. (Sounds familiar? – this is only the most basic trick.)The whole “game” was well practiced in the “Wild East.” Military officers, intelligence officers, or even the chess players were taught all the tricks. I rememberseeing some movie about a Russian chess master winning a top-level game against an American by using such “disgusting” tricks as putting a match in his ear andthen (the same match) in his mouth. While the American was shocked, the Russian was plugging him with misinformation. The bigger the “shock” associated withthe “button” the better – you can “get away with murder” if the button is good and plug whatever garbage you want in there. Part of good training would includeimmunizing you to all common tricks.A good brainwashing message therefore consists of two parts - the carrier pressing the button (used to overwhelm your “logic processor”) and the desiredprogramming itself. The desired programming should best be a simple association that can be easily stored in the database. Sometimes the carrier and the messageoverlap. Examine the famous commercial that cost Goldwater the election. If I remember correctly it was a little girl, then Goldwater, then a nuclear explosion. Theshock of an association of a little girl combined with (being destroyed by) a nuclear explosion was used as a carrier to program the “Goldwater=Nuclear Explosion”association. As always, real facts (Goldwater’s political ideas) do not stand in a way of a good brainwashing.To resist brainwashing it is important to recognize “incoming carriers” and look for the desired programming. To prevent the message from affecting others it is onlynecessary to disable the “carrier button.” Contradicting the “desired programming” is unnecessary and counterproductive.I cannot resist using my favorite example here, which, I am sure, everyone has seen. Question US aid to Israel and be bombarded with Holocaust pictures. This is afairly primitive technique but it works on everybody but medical doctors. The carrier is the disgust and shock of seeing human bodies abused and dismembered, thedesired programming is “Opposing aid to Israel=Nazism.” It does not matter how elaborate your argument in opposing the aid is. The carrier button will overwhelmyour argument unless you disable the carrier button.How to disable that particular button. Well – you can either desensitize yourself and everyone else to the sight of open/dead bodies the same way it is accomplishedwith future medical doctors (hours of training in the morgue) or find a way to counter the button:1. Escalate – show that Israel kills people too (not that good – it is like a childish argument in a sandbox: A. you are ugly! B. You are uglier!)2. Emotionalize – show shock – ‘how DARE you suggest I do not care”3. Reuse – post uglier pictures and state your message – such as US’s involvement can cause another Holocaust4. Reverse – ask if the pictures show dead Jews or dead kulaks killed in Russia5. Ridicule – like our “Chicken Holocaust” stunt6. Drown – immediately show concern about the picture, ask for context, drown the “desired programming” through other concerns.None of these methods is perfect – shock of death is a powerful emotion. Here is the bigger problem though – the stunt has been used so many times it becomesineffective or even counter-productive. People have a tendency to rebel against things that cause them pain. I hope people will never take pleasure in seeingHolocaust pictures, but it is one of the possible ways to rebel.
Programming of Americans
There is one group of people that has achieved a “special status.” This is completely illogical and counterproductive for everyone (special group included). There isnothing wrong with gaining America’s support through logical, rational process. It is another to accomplish such state of affairs through ugly mind tricks. Even if weignore the fact that such state of affairs might be slightly unfair to the Americans, the bigger problem is that such things can lead to a backlash.Examine your reaction to:
Many Italians lie!
Any reaction? How about?

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